Ellis Jacob, CEO of Cineplex, is banking on blockbusters to recover from COVID and inflation

As the CEO of Cineplex, it's Ellis Jacob's job to steer the company through a pandemic recovery, high inflation and the continuing rise of streaming services.

After two years of lockdowns, Canadians are starting to head back to movie theatres with increasing frequency. For Ellis Jacob, the CEO of Cineplex, Canada’s largest theatre chain, that means coming up with new ways to lure audiences into his 170 brick-and-mortar cinemas around the country.

It’s a challenge he’s been tackling since he became president and CEO of Cineplex Galaxy back in 2003. But with streaming services now dominating the industry and some moviegoers wary of catching COVID, the battle is significantly harder. Cineplex lost $42 million in the first fiscal quarter of 2022—half of what it lost in Q1 2021, but still not ideal. To compensate, the corporation recently announced it would be adding a $1.50 surcharge to every ticket ordered online—but that caused a backlash, with many pointing out the irony that a digital ticket should cost more than a paper one.

On today’s episode of The CJN Daily, Jacob joins to lay out his plan for survival—and even growth—during one of the most precarious points in Canadian moviegoing history.

What we talked about:


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Victoria Redden is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.